United Way & Lexington Police Team-Up to Distribute Blankets

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 Back row, left to right: Lexington Police Chief Mark Barnard, Katie Williams - United Way of the Bluegrass, Charlie Lanter - Director, Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention.  Front row - Mark Shake, United Way of the Bluegrass, Mayor Jim Gray, Officer Keith Sleet


Lexington, KY – January 21, 2016 - United Way of the Bluegrass and the 2-1-1 Contact Center donated 200 blankets to the Lexington Police Department today.  Lexington officers will help distribute the blankets to individuals and families in need, particularly during this period of severe weather.  In total, United Way has shared over 1,000 blankets this winter with local and regional agencies across the Bluegrass.

United Way’s 2-1-1 Contact Center helps connect people with available resources like food, housing, health care, senior services, utility assistance, child care, legal aid and more. Last year, 2-1-1 received over 28,000 calls for assistance.   United Way of the Bluegrass President and CEO, Bill Farmer says 2-1-1 is particularly helpful during times of disaster or harsh weather. “With one text message or call to 2-1-1, people can reach a trained specialist who will assess the full scope of their needs and match them to the right local resources and information on the spot.”

“We are so grateful for the work that local officers do in our community each day and hope that these blankets will provide comfort and outreach to some of our most vulnerable citizens. 2-1-1 is here to help connect people with a variety of services and agencies providing critical and essential services to Lexington and surrounding areas,” said Bill Farmer. 

"Each day our officers engage with people who have a variety of needs, including those experiencing critical needs for food, heating or shelter," said Lexington Police Chief Mark Barnard. "These blankets are especially needed this time of year, and they will also help our officers share information about the important service that 2-1-1 provides our community."  

2-1-1 Specialists are available M-F between the hours of 7:30 AM and 6:00 PM. Contact Center hours will be extended this Saturday from 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM due to impending weather impacts. The 2-1-1 online database is available 24 hours a day. To search for available resources online, go to www.uwbg211.org.   To text for help, send your 5-digit zip code to 898211 from your mobile device.

United Way 2-1-1 is accessible through land-lines and mobile phones. If your phone system cannot connect to 2-1-1 or if you are calling from outside the immediate area, please dial 1-866-362-6211. 

About United Way of the Bluegrass:

United Way of the Bluegrass is a leader and motivator of change for long-terms solutions for Central Kentucky communities. We have a bold goal that together, we will increase the number of self-sufficient families by 10,000 before 2020. United Way has committed to four key drivers of success for community and economic success:  basic needs, school readiness, student success and financial stability.  Systems have been developed to evaluate the quality and success of programs supported by UWBG, so investors can be assured that dollars will have maximum impact on the community. For more information, visit www.uwbg.org or follow us on Facebook at UnitedWayOfTheBluegrass.

Media Contact:

Katie Williams

Vice President, Marketing / United Way of the Bluegrass

Office:  859.977.7391

Mobile:  859.351.8567